Community Works Institute (CWI) directly supports K-16 educators and schools in making their local community the focus and context for powerful student learning experiences. CWI’s work with educators is focused on using the local community as the classroom through the lens of place-based service-learning, sustainability, and social justice. CWI particularly emphasizes student voice and reciprocity in its program design work.

Since 1995, CWI has provided powerful on-site support and professional development for educators around the globe, including its acclaimed annual Summer Institutes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. CWI’s Summer Institutes are the longest running professional development events of their kind. CWI also provides resources for educators, including Community Works Journal, a digital magazine for educators.

What We Offer

  • On-site support for K-16 schools: consulting, extended workshops, and local institutes.
  • Design and consulting support for community focused initiatives.
  • Collaborative Ethnography for teachers and students.
  • Annual Summer Institutes on place-based service-learning and sustainability.
  • Resources and curriculum design tools for K-16 and community educators.
  • Community Works Journal, a digital magazine for educators.
  • Opportunities to participate in CWI’s network of like-minded educators.


This was a profound and wonderful experience incorporating meaningful connections and professional growth. I very much appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the group. This was an outstanding opportunity and I learned a great deal from the collection of colleagues and collaborators. Now I know that I’m not alone and that there are some other very strong people doing great things! Now I can bring support to the work and passion that I have well beyond concept.”

Matthew Budd

Director of Community Action, The Berkeley Carroll School Brooklyn, New York

Scheduled PD Offerings


Early bird and team rates are available for all Institutes. Scholarship support is available on a need basis. Please see our website for additional information.


The NEXT Institute: From Classroom to Community, Moving Toward Social Justice

—An Experiential Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8:30am – 4pm

Otis College of Art and Design

Los Angeles, California


The NEXT Institute: From Classroom to Community, Moving Toward Social Justice

—An Experiential Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:30am – 4pm

Brooklyn, New York


CWI’s 2020 Institute SOUTH America on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice

January 13 – 17, 2020

Lima, Peru

in partnership with Otis College of Art and Design


CWI’s 2020 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice

June 22 – 26, 2020

Brooklyn, New York

in partnership with Berkeley Carroll School and Otis College of Art and Design


CWI’s 2020 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice

July 27 – 31, 2020

Los Angeles, California

in partnership with Otis College of Art and Design